Back around 2016 I noticed that traffic fatalities were going up nationally, much like murders, since the emergence of Black Lives Matter at Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014, probably because cops were being sent the message to cut down on stopping bad drivers, especially black bad drivers.
Then Jeff Sessions became Attorney General and roads deaths (and murders) stabilized and drifted down. But then came the Racial Reckoning and car crash killings (and murders) shot up in June 2020.
Well, it turns out that one epicenter for the Ferguson/Floyd Effect on the roads has been — whaddaya know? — Ferguson. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Erin Heffernan , Josh Renaud 1 hr ago 36
FERGUSON — Edward Moore was cutting hair in the shop he’s owned for more than 15 years on Airport Road when he heard a loud bang.
Within a moment, he was flung across Chief’s Barber & Beauty Shop, at 939 Airport Road.
“It was like a bomb hit,” Moore said. “I open my eyes and I just see the front of the truck right in my face.”
A Nissan pulling onto Airport Road had been T-boned by another vehicle, spun off the street and struck a pickup parked on the side of the shop, sending the truck through the wall of the barber shop.
Moore and three of his clients were hospitalized, including one who nearly died, Moore recalled. Moore had a torn meniscus and ACL that will require surgery.
Wrecks and speeding on the road outside his shop are a fact of life, Moore said. A few years ago, he saw a car fly off the road and crash through a wall of the beauty supply store across the street.
“I’ve seen a lot of people hurt,” he said. “I’m thankful God showed up for us again and we survived.”
The crash into Moore’s shop on Feb. 18 is among the latest on a north St. Louis County road that’s become increasingly deadly and dangerous since 2014, according to a Post-Dispatch analysis of 19 years of crash records from the Missouri Highway Patrol.
Wasn’t there something that happened in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 that was in all the newspapers? I can’t remember exactly what—something to do with the Bureau of Land Management—but maybe that event is related to the sudden surge in traffic deaths in the Ferguson area?
It’s known as Airport Road at its westernmost end in Berkeley, and as Hereford Avenue for several blocks in Ferguson. But for most of its 8-mile run across North County, it’s called Chambers Road.
… Trailnet, a nonprofit that advocates for safer walking and biking in the St. Louis area, has identified Chambers as 2021’s most dangerous “high-crash” corridor for pedestrians in the county. …
At least three people have died this year in crashes on Chambers in Ferguson, … and left a group of Ferguson residents no longer willing to wait for action about dangerous driving there.
Ferguson City Manager Eric Osterberg was among them. …
Osterberg, who took the top job at Ferguson City Hall in August, said that to resolve the problems on Chambers Road, Ferguson and other North County communities must find new ways to reduce speeding without resuming the controversial practice of ticketing and fining drivers.
Reliance on municipal court revenue to bolster city budgets, and the disproportionate effect on Black residents, became a focus of reform after the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown. Ferguson now operates under a consent decree with the Department of Justice, limiting how much the city can raise from municipal fines. A state law passed in 2015 tightened court revenue restrictions for municipalities statewide.
As you’ll no doubt recall, being my readers, with the rise of BLM at Ferguson in August 2014, the Obama Administration set out to nail the Ferguson PD for racism. They looked and they looked, but couldn’t find anything.
So, the White House declared Ferguson instead to be…a speed trap.
After the Ferguson PD was condemned repeatedly by the national media for enforcing laws against speeding, it cut back.
More speeding ensued, followed by more traffic accidents (see graph above) and more traffic fatalities (see graph to the right).
“I’m very cautious of the history of Ferguson,” Osterberg said. “I don’t want to reintroduce the harm that the policy before imposed on our Black residents … but something has to be done.” …
For now, Ferguson police have increased their presence on the road, and are focused on “educational stops,” Chief Frank McCall said at the meeting.
Officers leave drivers with minor offenses with a warning, McCall said.
“It’s not for revenue purposes,” McCall said. “People driving through have a dialogue with the officers.”
As far as I can tell, it was I that I discovered that during the Great Awokening, homicides and road deaths are tightly correlated, almost certainly because of the Black Lives Matter movement discouraging pro-active policing (and perhaps due to heightened black exuberance).